The following Prospectus, written in 1985, was based on my experience
of facilitating the second course of the Institute for the Development
of Human Potential (IDHP) and of monitoring a total of 17 IDHP courses.
It was designed to give practical expression to a model of radical
education integrating confluence, hierarchy and parity.
TO: IDHP Committee Members FROM: John Heron
PROSPECTUS FOR AN IDHP COURSE
Since I sent you the outline of a chapter for Dave
Boud's book on adult learning, I ran an holistic education workshop for
two days at the University of Surrey.
The second day of the workshop was an autonomy lab, and
I took time in it to work out what sort of an IDHP course I would want
to facilitate, taking into account the sort of issues raised in the
chapter outline, and in our recent IDHP committee week-end at Bath.
I have reflected further on all this and have written
the attached Prospectus.
I have no definite plans at the moment to launch an IDHP
course using this Prospectus. But I would like to discuss the Prospectus
with the committee at our next meeting, or, if time does not allow, at
the meeting after that, in time set aside for ideology.
There is no copyright on this Prospectus and I am very
happy for anyone to take from it anything they want to make their own.
20 April 1985
This is a prospectus for a two-year part-time course
entitled "Facilitator Styles" which leads to an award of the Diploma in
Holistic Psychology of the Institute for the Development of Human
Potential. Holistic psychology embraces both humanistic and
transpersonal psychology. The course offers a model of confluent
education, and one which seeks to balance the political principles of
hierarchy and parity. This is explained more fully below.
1. The prospectus constitutes a contract to which
all those who enrol on the course are asked to give their written
- Please read it very carefully and see whether it represents the
kind of educational ideology and method to which you are, or feel
you can become, internally committed. If it does not speak to you
and your value-system, you would be well advised to apply elsewhere.
- The contract itself is non-negotiable with course members: it
provides the framework within which negotiation and participative
decision-making can occur.
- In its current form, it represents over 7 years experience of
monitoring IDHP courses in the UK.
2. The course offers a model of confluent education.
By "confluence" we mean interweaving and running concurrently several
different strands of learning and change, so that we have a holistic
education of the person in their social, political and cultural context.
This course identifies six strands of learning, each of which is
elaborated in more detail as the prospectus unfolds:
- Personal development, including also interpersonal and
- Theoretical understanding.
- Writing skills, including existential, theoretical, project and
- Facilitator skills, in relation both to individuals and to
- Social change development.
- Political skills internal to the course.
3. The course focuses mainly on the personal
development strand in the first two terms in order to establish a sure
foundation in the soul for everything else. However, there are five
important exceptions to this, and these exceptions launch the underlying
model of confluent education, of running several strands of learning
- There will be theory presentations and seminars on the personal
growth approaches used in the first two terms. This will launch the
- Personal growth work done in the first two terms will include
work done on past conditioning about and past experience of writing.
This will prepare to launch the writing strand.
- In so far as co-counselling is used as one approach to personal
growth in the first two terms, then everyone will get regular
experience of the role of counsellor. The training for this role
will launch the facilitator skills strand of the course.
- One important aspect of personal growth is integration: that is,
integrating internal re-alignment of the soul with current attitudes
to and behaviour in the outer world; and this means practical
changes in life-style and work-style. Integration work done in the
first two terms will launch the social change dimension of the
- Decisions about how to do the personal growth work in the first
two terms, where it is not covered by this contract, will be reached
by peer planning - in which members of the course make corporate
decisions. This will launch the political strand of the course.
4. The term "Psychology" in the Diploma in Holistic
Psychology which is awarded to-those who successfully complete the
course, is construed first in terms of depth and second in terms of
breadth. Personal development, construed as deepening of soul growth, is
primary, and breadth of grasp of the basic modalities of humanistic and
transpersonal psychology is secondary to it. To this end:
Participants contract to do
100 hours of personal work, deepening soul growth, in the first year of
the course, at least 50 hours during course time, and the remainder
between weekly meetings and in the vacations; and to keep a diary of
this work. This work has five dimensions:
Participants contract to balance these five dimensions,
but what constitutes a balance is for each person to determine. They
also contract to cover these five dimensions in the diary of personal
work. The 50 hours personal work done during course sessions will be
done partly during the weekly meetings and partly during the weekend
The following modalities are built into the first two terms of the
course, in order to provide a secondary and supporting breadth of method
to the personal work contract:
- The first five weekly meetings are devoted entirely to
co-counselling training and individual work in the group.
Thereafter, co-counselling is used every weekly meeting for the
first two terms, with a one hour each-way session per meeting, and
with a one day three-hour-per-client marathon per term.
- There are six weekend workshops, at monthly intervals, in the
first two terms, run by visiting facilitators (who will be fully
briefed about the personal work contract and to design their
workshops accordingly), and they are in this order: Bioenergetics;
Rebirthing; Encounter/Group Dynamics; Gestalt; Psychosynthesis;
- One hour of every weekly meeting for the first two terms will be
devoted to transpersonal and altered states development: through
ritual, meditation training, and altered states exercises.
5. The theory strand of the course seeks to provide
non-alienating theory brought into relation with experience and action:
- Appropriate theory will be integrated with the co-counselling
training with which the course opens.
- Appropriate theory will be integrated, with the growth modality
weekends run by visiting facilitators during the first year.
- Appropriate theory will be integrated with the facilitator
skills workshops in the third term of the first year (see below).
- There will be a significant theory component to the pre-planned
time allocated to social change in the first year (see below).
- There will be theory about the methodology of the course, and
about the role of reflection in experiential learning.
6. There is an important commitment to written work
on this course. However, we seek to provide conditions such that the
writing can become non-alienating and consonant with the rest of the
- Hence you contract to delay doing any writing for the first two
terms and to include in your personal growth sessions during these
two terms work on your past conditioning about and experience of
- Thereafter you contract to write two or more
personal/existential pieces before writing two or more
theoretic/conceptual pieces, the minimum of all these pieces
combined being 20,000 words for the whole course.
- There is an additional piece of writing on a social change
project in the second year (see below).
- And alongside these sorts of writing we encourage occasional
7. The facilitator skills training strand of the
course starts with the training of counsellors in the co-counselling
training with which the course commences. This strand is developed more
fully from the start of the third term of the first year onwards. To
- The one hour each way co-counselling session at each weekly
meeting continues throughout the third term of the first year; but
with each counsellor now using at every session an intensive
counselling contract (subject always to the client's right to change
this contract because of special needs). This contract requires more
facilitative skill on the part of the counsellor, so the term will
start with two weekly meetings devoted to training in intensive
counselling skills for co-counsellors.
- There will be two weekend workshops during the third term of the
first year on facilitator skills: Six Category Intervention
Analysis; Dimensions of Facilitator Style. These deal, respectively,
with facilitating individuals and facilitating groups. They will be
buttressed by ten hours of facilitator skills training during the
weekly meetings of the third term. How this time will be used for
this purpose will be determined by peer planning.
- Participants contract to devote up to five hours in the third
term for the planning of the second year and contract to include in
the second year plan not less than one quarter of the time devoted
to facilitator skills training. Hence this strand will receive
sustained attention throughout the second year.
Social Change Competence
8. The course as a whole is itself a piece of social
change activity within the educational culture of our society.
Specifically, the course focuses on social change in the following ways:
- Participants contract to integrate personal growth work done on
the course with the outer world through appropriate change in their
life-style and work-style, and at their interface with
- Facilitative skills are presented in the course in their social
and political context and are seen as part of change-agent skills.
- One weekend workshop in the third term of the first year, and
ten hours spread over weekly meetings in the first year, are devoted
to raising consciousness about social change theory and method. The
content of this allocated time is non-negotiable.
- Participants contract in the second year to engage singly or in
groups in a social change project in the wider world, and to make
this project the subject of one piece of written work.
Political Skills Internal to the Course
9. Political skills internal to the course refer to
skills in peer planning and in balancing self-direction and cooperation
in meeting a mixture of individual and corporate needs and interests.
This is one aspect of the course itself seen as a social change
activity, but merits special attention because it is so central to the
destiny of the course.
- There will be a peer decision-making training session at the
outset of the course.
- All subsequent peer decision-making will be time-limited on an
agreed basis, both with respect to duration and frequency.
- The peer decision-making process will be facilitated throughout
the first year by the primary facilitator, who may, however,
negotiate to delegate the role to a course member.
- When facilitating peer decision-making the facilitator never
imposes any decision outcomes.
- Peer decision-making has a powerful role in planning and
managing the second year.
Self and Peer Assessment
10. The course is committed to the use of self and
peer assessment of learning and change on each of the six strands of the
course - personal/ interpersonal/transpersonal development, theory,
written work, facilitator skills, social change, political skills
internal to the course, .
- Self and peer assessment will be used, after appropriate
preparation, before the end of the first year on all the strands;
and again before the end of the course.
- The Diploma will be awarded on the basis of such assessment, and
also on the basis of an additional self and peer accreditation which
authorizes the candidate to do particular kinds of facilitative
work. The Diploma will have appended to it a folder' giving details
of the final assessment and accreditation.
- In the assessment and accreditation procedures the primary
facilitator has no more and no less than one voice among the peers.
Nevertheless the facilitator holds an hierarchical final power of
veto since her/his signature is necessary for the award of the
- The Diploma is only held to be valid by the IDHP committee if
the signatures of each of the following persons are on it: the
candidate, a representative of their peers, the course primary
facilitator, a representative of the IDHP committee.
Hierarchy and Parity
11. Participants contract to help create a learning
community which seeks to find an aware balance and fruitful interaction
between the principle of hierarchy and the principle of parity. These
principles refer to who decides what is done on the course and how it is
The principle of hierarchy is represented by several factors, some
but not all of which have been mentioned in the contract so far. They
bear witness to the values and ideology of the IDHP. They are:
- This non-negotiable contract as designed by the primary
facilitator and the IDHP committee.
- The role of the primary facilitator in facilitating personal
growth work, facilitator skills training, social change work, theory
sessions, peer planning, self and peer assessment in the first year.
- The role of the primary facilitator throughout the two years as
the guardian and upholder of this contract.
- The regular supervision of the primary facilitator by one or
more peers on the IDHP committee.
- The ongoing role of the IDHP committee in receiving and
monitoring regular reports on the course from the primary
- The Diploma carries the signatures of the primary facilitator of
the course, and of a representative of the IDHP committee.
The principle of parity is represented by the self-determination and
cooperation of participants on the course, within the hierarchical
limits set by this contract. The parity factors are:
- Peer planning of how to fulfil that proportion of the personal
growth contract of the first year that is not already structured by
- Peer planning of how to use the 10 hours allocated by this
contract to facilitator skills training during the weekly meetings
in the third term of the first year.
- Peer planning of how to use, in the light of overall course
objectives, all the remaining unstructured time in the first year,
including the whole of both five day workshops, and a considerable
part of each weekly meeting.
- Peer planning of the whole of the second year, including that
quarter of it which is allocated by this contract to facilitator
skills training. Such planning includes negotiating with the primary
facilitator about how they will fulfil their role during the second
year as guardian and upholder of this contract.
- Individual and peer planning of the social change projects in
the second year.
- The use of combined self and peer assessment with respect to
learning on the several strands of the course, such use occurring
during the course, and at the end, together with self and peer
accreditation, in relation to the award of the Diploma.
- The right of course participants to attend, through one or more
representatives, IDHP committee meetings in order to comment on its
deliberations and to present their own concerns and interests.
Course representatives do not, however, have voting rights at IDHP
- The Diploma carries the signatures of the candidate and of a
representative of their peers on the course.
Summary of Pre-planned Structure
To include 100 hours personal growth work: 50 hours in
course time, 50 hours outside course time, with diary, on five
dimensions. The 50 hours in course time is covered by the time allocated
to co-counselling and transpersonal/ASC work during weekly meetings, in
the schedule below.
10 weekly meetings of 6 hours each: first 5 meetings
devoted to co-counselling training, with 1 hour per day on
transpersonal/ASC; next 5 meetings include 2 hours co-counselling per
day, and 1 hour transpersonal/ASC per day. Unplanned: 3 hours per
day of the last 5 meetings.
3 week-end workshops: Bio-energetics; Re-birthing;
10 weekly meetings of 6 hours each: 2 hours
co-counselling per day, 1 hour transpersonal/ASC per day. Unplanned:
3 hours per day for all 10 meetings.
3 week-end workshops: Gestalt; Psychosynthesis;
10 weekly meetings of 6 hours each: 2 hours
co-counselling per day; 10 hours facilitator skills training over the
term; 5 hours peer planning of second year over the term. Unplanned:
average of 2.5 hours per day for all 10 meetings.
3 week-end workshops: Six Category Intervention
Analysis; Dimensions of Facilitator Style; Social Change.
Unplanned: 2 5-day workshops during the year.
NB: To be fitted in to the unplanned parts of the course
are: 10 hours of social change theory and method; self and peer
assessment in the third term.
One quarter of the total course time to be devoted to
facilitator skills training; one social change project to be planned and
implemented; self and peer assessment, self and peer accreditation,
towards the end of the year; two pieces of existential writing, two
pieces of theoretical writing, one piece of writing on the social change
project. With the exception of these guidelines, the whole of year
two is unplanned.